MANILA, Philippines — Despite their knees buckling at the stripe, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters escaped with an 86-83 win over Globalport Batang Pier and improved their record to 4-2 in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday, November 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Painters lost their touch from the free throw line in the second half, going only 7-of-17 after an efficient 12-of-14 during the first 24 minutes. Those misses nearly cost them the game.
"Pinahirapan namin yung sarili namin (We made it more difficult for ourselves) by missing those important free throws," Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao rued. "Jeff (Chan) uncharacteristically missed his free throws and Beau (Belga) missed a lot of free throws."
Jeff Chan missed 5 charities and Beau Belga failed to knock down 4 straight attempts down the stretch when Globalport was hanging around down by just 82-78.
But after the Batang Pier threatened, 84-83, on a Yancy de Ocampo split with over a minute left, Paul Lee made two important free throws for the final tally.
"We're a veteran team, we will make big shots in the endgame. I trust this team. But the big shots for us in this game were the free throws and if we made them we could've made our lives a little bit easier," Guiao explained.
It was an ugly win for Rain or Shine which squandered a 13-point 49-36 halftime advantage and even allowed Globalport to lead by as much as 70-63 heading into the final frame.
But the Painters managed a 7-0 swing to open the fourth before diving into a dangerous nip-and-tuck game with the Batang Pier.
Chan kept Rain or Shine's noses ahead, however, as he dropped 11 of his total 16 points in the payoff period - including a couple of three-pointers and nifty drives to the basket.
And despite failing to convert on 3 straight possessions under the 3-minute mark, a silly turnover from Belga with 52.6 remaining, and giving Globalport an opportunity thanks to missing a crucial rebound with less than 30 ticks on the clock, Rain or Shine managed to survive.
"I thought that Globalport really pushed us all the way to the endgame," Guiao said. "This team is rising up in the league and they're giving the veteran teams a really hard time."
Belga wound up with 12 points and 5 rebounds while Lee and Raymond Almazan added 11 points apiece.
Globalport, on the other hand, had Alex Cabagnot leading the way with 20 points on 3-of-9 three-pointers and 5 assists. Keith Jensen kept Globalport in the game with his 15 points - 13 of which he spread out in the last two quarters.
The Batang Pier, which made no triple in the fourth, dropped to 3-3.
It's been an up and down conference so far for Rain or Shine. They continue to deal with rebounding deficits (43-50 in this game), building chemistry, and missing charities.
"We're a little concerned about free throws and rebounding in the past games," Guiao admitted, adding that he will look into the team's routine and see what can be altered.
"Our energy has been inconsistent and that's the reason our game has been inconsistent."
Here are some photos of the game taken by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images
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RAIN OR SHINE (86) - Chan 16, Belga 12, Lee 11, Almazan 11, Cruz Jervy 10, Quinahan 10, Ibanes 8, Cruz Jericho 4, Norwood 3, Teng 1, Tang 0.
GLOBALPORT (83) - Cabagnot 20, Jensen 15, Pringle 14, De Ocampo 14, Semerad 8, Isip 6, Romeo 3, Buenafe 3, Baclao 0, Ponferada 0, Nabong 0, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 49-36, 63-70, 86-83